Moraga, Calif. (May 11, 2004) -- The recent scandal over the sale of donated human body parts for medical research and a revolutionary discovery about the heart are among many issues to be discussed at the 21st annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga on June 9-12, 2004.

More than 150 scientists, clinicians and educators are expected to attend the conference at Saint Mary's College, the first non-medical institution to ever host the event.

Conference participants will discuss the ethical issues surrounding the use of cadavers for medical research and education during a symposium titled "Donor Program Management: Legal Financial and Operational Considerations" at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, June 11. The recent revelation that the director of the Willed Body Program at the University of California at Los Angeles allegedly sold cadaver organs illegally for personal gain has renewed calls for greater oversight of the human tissue industry.

Dr. Gerald D. Buckberg will discuss a revolutionary approach to understanding the heart's structure and function during a talk titled "The Helical Heart" at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 11. Dr. Buckberg, a professor of cardiac surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, will explain how this innovative model of the heart is changing the way cardiac surgeons treat heart disease. Using this new approach, Dr. Buckberg's cardiac care team has achieved significantly higher survival rates.

Dr. Tim White, a paleoanthropologist at UC Berkeley, will present this year's Presidential Paper titled "Evolution of Human Anatomy, A View from Afar at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9. In his talk, Dr. White will discuss how he uses anatomy to analyze the fossils of hominids and Homo sapiens that he finds and how the grouping of our ancestors is based on anatomic variation. Dr. White is a professor of Integrative Biology and a co-director of the Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies at UC Berkeley.

The conference is jointly sponsored by Saint Mary's College of California and the American Association of Clinical Anatomists. More details about the conference can be found at www.stmarys-ca.edu/aacaconference or by calling Saint Mary's College Professor Gregory Smith at (925) 631-4448.

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Saint Mary's College of California, founded in 1863, is a residential learning community based in the Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. An outstanding faculty brings these traditions to life. The College enrolls 2,494 traditional undergraduates and more than 2,000 students in adult education and graduate programs. The Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guides the academic growth and spiritual character of the school. Saint Mary's is located in Moraga, 20 miles east of San Francisco.

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